Warrington Wolves v Leeds Rhinos: Smith braced for battle INTERVIEW

Tony Smith.
Tony Smith.
0
Have your say

Tony Smith is urging his Warrington side to kick on from their historic victory over St Helens when they take on his old Leeds Rhinos.

The Wolves maintained the gradual improvement from their opening-day defeat by Huddersfield when they ended a 10-year wait for a win over their neighbours in last week’s derby, but Smith believes they will need to find another gear when they meet the Rhinos.

“We’re trying to establish ourselves as a team that competes regularly and it’s another test for us,” he said. “We want to get that consistency and add to our improving performance.

“In round one we weren’t great, week two we were better, week three we were better again and I’d like to continue along that vein.”

While Warrington have put together back-to-back victories, Leeds are licking their wounds from a first defeat of the season, a surprise home reverse by Harlequins which Smith believes make them even more dangerous.

“They’re a good team and obviously suffered a defeat that they wouldn’t have wanted last week,” he added.

“They’re a very proud club and I know they’ll be trying to bounce back this week.”

Having lost out in his duel with his Harlequins successor Rob Powell,

Rhinos coach Brian McDermott will be hoping for better fortunes against the man he assisted at both Leeds and Huddersfield.

He was disappointed by his new team’s performance against the Londoners and is calling for his players to work harder in defence as the Rhinos look for revenge for last August’s Challenge Cup final defeat.

“I am sure Tony Smith will have watched our game last week and will be rubbing his hands together at the prospect of playing us,” he said.

“However, we have to make sure that we are much improved from last week.

“We were not good enough against Quins and that was not down to a lack of understanding or structure it was just a case that we did not front up on the night.

“We didn’t put our head where it hurts and do the things you need to do to stop a team scoring and we need to do that this week.”

Changing of the guard: Departing Danny McGuire celebrates his second Grand Final try with teen talent Jack Walker. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Leeds Rhinos 2017 Super League review: Mastering the art of play-offs rugby